Monday, 31 January 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba!

I love this show. I loved it even before I had K. For anyone that hasn't seen it, it's an American show hosted by DJ Lance Rock, a dude who looks like he's escaped from Deelite. It's fabulously kitsch and retro but the best thing is that it has real music for kids and bands you've actually heard of. (No, this isn't a sponsored post!)

This sort of thing beats the likes of Zingzillas hands down...

The annoying thing for us is that it's on Nick Jr (we only get freeview) but you can buy Volume 1 on DVD from Amazon for £2.49 including delivery. And the website has lots of free games and videos. There's a sneak peek of The Killers on there at the moment.

My brother discovered that, bizarrely, Poundstretcher is a gold mine of Yo Gabba Gabba merchandise. K's got a singing Brobee, a wiggling Muno, socks, bath squirters and a DJ Lance hat all for bargain prices. Definitely worth a look if you're little one is a fan.

This site has some interesting craft ideas if you want a themed party (how cool is that pinata?)

Or how about a DIY papercraft Brobee?

Come on Beeb, please put something on CBeebies to rival this!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wrong un's

I haven't seen any memes around for a while and then two appear at once. Thank you Domestic Goddesque for the Stylish Blogger award (I'm still gagging at the thought of her having to eat potato salad sandwiches) and Alice's adventures into motherland for the Secret Seven tag (she's scared of tramps you know).

I'm meant to share seven random/secret facts about myself, but as I've done something similar here and I can't think of any more secrets I'm going to change this slightly and divulge my seven secret (because they are awful) crushes. I'd just like to add that with most of these I can now see the error of my ways. Hold on to your hats and your stomach contents...

1. Terry Christian
I know, so wrong. He was funny on The Word though and I do like a Manc accent. He looks like he's mugged a clown.

2. Howling Mad Murdoch from the A-Team
I still think he's better looking than Face.

3. Tony Slattery
Maybe it was his cheeky grin, or that foppish hair (it couldn't have been his dress sense). In hindsight I can see he was short, podgy and smarmy but that didn't stop me lusting after him on Whose Line Is It Anyway.

4. John Thomson
Particularly when he played Fat Bob.

5. Shakin Stevens
Elvis the Powys. I still secretly ♥ him.

6. Huw Edwards
I was convinced that Huw 'silver fox' Edwards was gay but he is apparently married with kids and living in Dulwich which is within stalking distance from me, hurrah.

7. Seth Green
Always plays the techie, nerdy one in films. Short and ginger isn't usually my thing but I made an exception for him.

I now pass the baton to these seven bloggers...
A Humdrum Mum

Angela at Mum's Survival Guide

Seven secrets or seven crushes, it's up to you.
Or feel free to admit to your embarrassing crush in the comments – shhhhh, I won't tell!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Breaking traditions

One of my New Year resolutions was to focus on planning the wedding and things are coming along painfully slowly. Getting married in Croatia is out (too much hassle with paperwork and too many flights needed) and plan B is a registry office wedding in London followed by a party with a buffet rather than a sit-down meal.

The relaxed, understated wedding that we had envisaged is transforming into a traditional wedding with all the headaches that come with it, the main one being the ceremony itself.
Basically I don't want my Dad to give me away. I know how this sounds – spiteful and childish – but it just doesn't feel right. My Dad has never been there for me, has not even bothered to congratulate me on the engagement and is not helping towards the wedding costs or planning (although I don't expect that and I'm happy to pay for it myself) so it irritates me that he could turn up for the first time in 2 years and play happy families; if anything it should be my Mum that walks down the aisle with me.
So what you think? I'm going to invite my Dad but is it weird for me to walk down the aisle either alone, or with my little flower girl, K?

The dress is proving tricky too. I imagined wearing something like this beaded Biba dress
or this Monsoon one...
for a quickie wedding in sunny Croatia but I don't reckon I can get away with this here. Now that there will be guests at the registry office I'm feeling the pressure to conform to looking like the classic virginal bride. Budgets mean that I'm restricted to high street or ebay so I'm going to have my work cut out. Any advice on where to look is gratefully received!

Has anyone else had a party instead of a traditional wedding reception? We are not sure what we're meant to do about speeches in terms of who should give one (there's not going to be a best man so someone else will have to do the rude jokes) and when to do it? Perhaps we should just let it happen spontaneously, i.e. when we are drunk enough.

If you'd like to play wedding planner please leave a comment :)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Organising for magpies

The Friday Club

This is my first submission to The Friday Club at Notes from Home so please go easy on me!
I've been looking at ways of organising prized possessions in interesting ways that free up space and require minimal dusting (in my house everything gets minimal dusting!)

Many of us have collections of things that are neglected in a cupboard or shoved in a box in the loft collecting dust, this is such a shame! If you really like it then get it out on display to enjoy, if not perhaps it's time to ditch it.

My favourite way to present things is in deep picture frames. I wrote a post about how I made this using the badge collection I had as a kid and a lot of hot glue. Ikea do cheap box frames that are perfect for this. The benefit is not only do you save valuable shelf space but each little knick-knack won't need dusting.
And this little frame – I think it's meant for thimbles? – was picked up at a car boot sale for £2 and is a perfect home for these Thai amulets (your eyes do not deceive you, that is a monkey on a penis on the left, something to do with fertility...) and seashells that I've picked up on my travels which would otherwise be tucked away in a box forgotten. If you can't find a frame with a grid you could make one to fit into your box frame by slotting some mountboard strips together.

A similar method with a vintage twist is to pop on ebay and get yourself a gorgeous old printer's type drawer like this...
From Sir Mildred on flickr

Here are some other ideas I've come across...
Victorian-style domes...
Via the excellent Junkculture blog

Hang kids artwork, postcards and magazine cuttings from a line with pegs or bulldog clips. This version at Ohdeedoh uses a curtain rail.
While on the subject of rails, a plate rail or very high shelf (with a groove cut into it for plates to sit in) is a lovely way to show off a vintage crockery collection. I've also got a thing for over-door shelves – I spotted this ornate one at
And this one is Ikea's Ribba picture ledge, which is great as it has a lip at the front to prevent things falling if you slam the door.

Ikea is getting a lot of mentions here but I swear this isn't a sponsored post. However, Ikea, if you are reading and want to pay me in meatballs and dime bars then that's fine with me!

And lastly one I couldn't resist. I leave you with something for your inner Imelda Marcos... I present the shoe rolodex. Yes, your shoes can have their own little hamster wheel...

Available from

Here are the other entries in this Organising Tips for the Home Carnival:

Maggy at Red Ted Art posts How to… make your own Scrapbook/ Artwork Calendar

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family posts How To Be An Organised Mum

Jax at Making It Up posts her tips in A place for everything and everything in its place

Helen at Cheeky Wipes posts her laundry tips

Jules at I Need Curtains for the Window in my Head posts her tips for organising post

Angela at Mum's Survival Guide posts The Organised Side of Me: Paperwork.

Ella at Notes From Home posts her laundry tips.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


I'm not superstitious (although I was an obsessive magpie counter when I was pregnant) but I think my blog is jinxed. If something good happens, which I write about, it suddenly seems to unravel and turn to shite.
Take my post about the car passing it's MOT with flying colours. Last week some bastard smashed both the wing mirrors, the electrics are buggered and it's not worth the cost of fixing them.

And my post about the cold sore cure? I have had THREE crusty old cold sores in as many months.

I wrote about how I was going to enjoy a relaxing Christmas at home but spent the day being driven mad by R&B blaring from my neighbour's house. Seriously I would rather have listened to Cliff Richard on a loop.

Perhaps it's not a bad thing that I have nothing good to write about today! I had some kind of food poisoning on Sunday night (I think a Tesco pizza was the culprit) and spent all night puking. I had to call in sick for a days work I was meant to be doing yesterday so I've missed out on a days pay. I hope that the jinxing works in reverse and that something good will now happen.
Cartoon from Unlucky Bunny

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Pabobo Barbapapa light review

Decorating K's room has been a really rewarding part of renovating the house; it was so dingy and damp when we moved in but now it's bright and cosy. When Pabobo contacted me to see if I'd like to try one of their cute children's lights for K's room I couldn't resist, especially when it turned out they had a Barbapapa chain light!

I had a Barbapapa book when I was little that I loved. Coincidentally I was guzzling a packet of Jelly Belly beans (the fruity ones count towards your 5-a-day) and noticed that cotton candy – or candy floss to us Brits – is called barbe-à-papa in French, which translates as 'father's beard', err... yum?

A parcel arrived all the way from Paris which contained this nicely designed package of Barbapapas. As you may have guessed, I was much more excited than K at the prospect of seeing them in action.
The plug-in string light has 20 little Barbapapas on it and the detail is excellent, the ones that are waving are especially sweet. My only concern was the long cable (would K strangle herself with it?!) but I've taped it to the back of the wardrobe and the lights are safely out of her reach. Incidentally the instructions do say not suitable for under 3's.
They act as a great distraction at bedtime, the colours are lovely (we have the girlie version which has more pinks but there is one with blue tones for the boys), it's not too bright and something that I can see staying in her room for many years to come.

Pabobo tell me that you can get the lights, including some sweet night lights, from Harrods and Jojo Mamam Bebe at RRP £25 - £30.

If you want to find out more about Barbapapa and play some free games then head here.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

That time again

I just looked at my resolutions for 2010 and although I've not done too badly I think it's a case of could try harder!

This year my resolutions are to put more effort into wedding planning, the wedding is meant to be June/July and NOTHING is done yet.

In general I need to look at the bigger picture and not get bogged down with details or with things not being perfect.

I need to combat my telephobia. I have no idea why I hate phoning people, even friends, and it's a terrible thing to have when you need to call people about work. I'm treating myself to a new phone this month with a better tariff so I can't use the 'I've got no minutes left' excuse for not calling people.

How did you do with your resolutions?


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